Welcome to the “Panic Meter.”
Each week, we’ll feature several underperforming players with an assigned grade corresponding to the appropriate level of panic for the respective player/performance. Below is a scale with grades between 0 and 4 and a strategy that correlates to the specific grade.
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Fantasy Football Panic Meter
|PANIC METER GRADE||STRATEGY/PLAN OF ACTION|
|0||This past week was not ideal, but it can be chalked up as an anomaly. Panic is not necessary.|
|1||Panic is creeping up. It’s not time to sound the alarm yet, but it is something to be aware of. Said player should still be considered a starter but is now under surveillance.|
|2||Officially panicked, taking things week by week, considering a Plan B, exploring trade options or benching for a more reliable option.|
|3||Fire sale. Actively seeking a trade while the player in question still has value. They are no longer a trustworthy starter. In some cases, a borderline drop-candidate.|
|4||Sever all ties. Smash the drop button so hard that the man ends up in the shadow realm.|
Michael Pittman (WR – IND) | Panic Meter: 0
Pittman was the victim of a bad game in Week 4. Before his one-catch stinker, he had managed three consecutive games with at least 11 targets, eight catches and 13 points per reception (PPR) points. With the way Anthony Richardson has looked thus far, leaving his top target on the bench or panicking due to recency bias would be ill-advised. Chalk this one up as an off game. Pittman remains a strong WR2.
Amari Cooper (WR – CLE) | Panic Meter: 1
Deshaun Watson becoming inactive at the last minute didn’t do Cooper any favors in Week 4. Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s first NFL start wasn’t exactly a warm welcome, as the rookie QB was picked off three times and managed less than 150 passing yards. Cooper has notoriously been boom-or-bust, so games like this aren’t exactly shocking. If this performance occurred with Watson at the helm, panic would be more apparent. For now, it will be attributed to circumstance. Nothing to see here. Carry on.
Chris Olave (WR – NO) | Panic Meter: 1
Derek Carr surprised many by starting in Week 4 after suffering a significant AC joint sprain the previous week. What wasn’t a huge surprise, however, was the fact he was seriously hindered by the respective injury. Carr relied heavily on short dump-offs to Kamara (13 receptions, 39 yards) and didn’t push the ball down the field (127 pass yards). Prior to Week 4, Olave had at least 10 targets, six catches and 14 PPR points in every game this season. It’s safe to say his one-catch performance in Week 4 was most likely an anomaly. The only reason panic exists in any capacity is because there’s a possibility Carr’s injury will affect Olave’s production beyond this week.
Raheem Mostert (RB – MIA) | Panic Meter: 2
Mostert’s reign as RB1 overall was fun while it lasted. Unfortunately for him (and his fantasy managers), he doesn’t seem to be the RB1 on his own team anymore. Mostert’s snaps and touches have slowly trended down for each of the past three weeks, while the rookie Achane’s have only trended up. After registering 353 yards and six TDs on 33 touches in his past two games, it’s starting to look more and more like Achane is the alpha of this backfield. To make matters worse for Mostert, Jeff Wilson is slated to return in Week 5. If your league-mates have been paying attention, the sell-high window has likely passed for Mostert. If this trend continues, he won’t be much more than a risk flex with upside moving forward.
Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI) | Panic Meter: 2
Goedert has scored a total of 21.8 PPR points (average 5.4 points per game) and hasn’t had a single game with over 45 yards so far this season. This has been particularly troubling, considering he had just three games below that threshold in 2022. Panic is certainly justifiable. Yet, the tight end landscape is so barren that he still holds value despite his recent lack of production. On the bright side, he is dominating snap share among Eagles TEs. Dropping the TE1 of a dangerous Philadelphia offense would be a hasty move, but benching him is definitely not out of the question.
Joe Burrow (QB – CIN) | Panic Meter: 3
At this point, there has been a large enough sample size to conclude something is seriously wrong. Through four games, Burrow has 31.4 fantasy points (average 7.85 points per game) and hasn’t finished a single game as a top-20 QB. There isn’t much to say at this point other than panic. Panic loudly and often. Panic until the cows come home. He’s currently impossible to trust as a starter. The only thing keeping him on fantasy rosters is his name. He is banished to the bench until further notice.